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AOT bracing for financial turbulence next year

Jul 31. 2020
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By The Nation

Airports of Thailand (AOT) could face financial difficulties in the next fiscal year (beginning October) amid an expected lower number of international flight arrivals, said AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn.

In contrast, AOT witnessed high passenger traffic and high revenue in the first four months of fiscal year 2020 from October to January.

AOT will have to cut costs as much as possible in the coming fiscal year but will maintain its 2021 investment plan, Nitinai added.

Average daily passenger numbers at the six AOT-run airports have dropped to 60,000 on normal days and about 90,000 over long holidays, as the Covid-19 outbreak takes a toll on the travel industry.

Passenger numbers from January to June this year plunged 60.65 per cent to 28 million. The number of local passengers dropped 54.49 per cent to 13 million, while foreign passengers plummeted 64.85 per cent to 15 million.

Suvarnabhumi Airport passenger numbers in the period fell 62.54 per cent to 12 million, while Don Meung Airport’s declined 59.86 per cent to 8 million, and Phuket’s fell 58.72 per cent to 3 million.

At Chiang Mai airport passenger volume plunged 59.37 per cent to 2 million, at Hat Yai airport it fell 55.32 per cent to 900,000 and at Chiang Rai airport it dropped 54.49 per cent to 600,000.

AOT expects 38.81 million total passengers in fiscal year 2020, rising to over 55 million in 2021 when a Covid-19 vaccine is expected to become available. The situation is expected to improve further in fiscal year 2022 and return to normal by October 2022.

AOT currently has liquidity of Bt50 billion, down Bt7 billion since the Covid-19 outbreak emerged.

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